The Benefits of Exercise for Seniors
As we age, it’s important to find ways to keep our bodies and minds active. For many seniors, this means finding an exercise routine that works for them. Exercise has many benefits, including improved mental health, increased bone density, and better balance. Let’s take a closer look at each of these benefits.
Improved Mental Health
Exercise has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression symptoms. One study found that a moderate-intensity exercise program can improve cognitive performance in seniors that live alone in their homes. Another study found that seniors who started an exercise program reported feeling happier and more alert. Exercise is a great way to better your mood and keep your mind sharp as you age.
Increased Bone Density
Osteoporosis is a common problem for seniors. Regular weight-bearing and resistance training exercise increases bone density by putting stress on the bones, leading to an increase in bone-forming cells. Weight-bearing exercise, or carrying your own weight, is any exercise that works your muscles and bones against gravity. Walking, jogging, and stair climbing are all examples of weight-bearing exercise. Resistance training, or working against a force, is any exercise that uses weights or resistance bands. This type of exercise helps to build muscle mass and strength.
Falls are one of the leading causes of injuries in seniors. Exercise can help improve balance and reduce the risk of falls. According to the (CDC), “One out of every four adults aged 65 and older falls each year.” They also reported that “falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and nonfatal, traumatic brain injuries among persons 65 and older.”
According to WHO, “Older adults should do varied multicomponent physical activity that emphasizes functional balance and strength training at moderate or greater intensity, on three or more days a week, to enhance functional capacity and to prevent falls.” An example of multicomponent physical activity is Tai Chi, which combines elements of strength, balance, and flexibility training. Exercise is a great way to reduce the risk of falls and stay safe as you age.
Boosts Energy Levels and Immunity
As we age, our energy levels decline. Regular exercise can help increase energy levels and fight fatigue. A study published in the Journal of Sport and Health Science found that physical activity can strengthen your immune system’s response and decrease your risk of illness. So, if you’re feeling tired or run down, grab your sneakers and go for a walk around the block—you might find that it gives you the energy boost you need!
Feel Great As You Age
As we age, we must find ways to keep our bodies and minds active. As we have discussed, exercise can:
- Improve mental health
- Improve or maintain bone density
- Improve your balance leading to less falls and breaks
Regular exercise can help you age more gracefully and stay independent for longer. So, get moving and enjoy all the benefits that exercise has to offer!
If you have any questions about exercise or hormone therapy in Denver or Aspen, we are here to help. Dr. Bruice specializes in helping men and women feel their best through hormone optimization. Call (303) 957-6686 to schedule a consultation or complete the online booking form.